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LCA Tejas Multirole Aircraft

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Dark_Prince, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. zebra7

    zebra7 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    IAF wanted to use the existing MIG-21 shelters, plus they were looking toward the USAF LWF (light weight fighter) project development and was impressed with the small, agile, nimble GNAT from the experience of the past war, and the requirement for short take off, and to be able to operate from high altitude airfields -- That fix the size limitation for the LCA, and the Tailless Delta Design -- and force ADA to develop Digital FBW, Composite Airframe, FADEEC.
    Past experience of HAL HF-24 Marut development, forces India to go for the indigenous Turbo-Fan engine development aka Kaveri.

    Earlier Plan, was to develop a Mig 21 size fighter plane, with Ericsson/Ferranti PS-05/A I/J-band multi-function radar with Matra as A2A armament.
    No Internal Jammer was planned/thought since the technology at that time limited the size constrain needed to be fitted inside the fighter plane airframe.


     
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  2. zebra7

    zebra7 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    It was the Classic example of Superb Engineering of its Time.
     
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  3. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    Harrier also had a bicycle rotation system for vectoring thrust downwards- you still want to use that as a benchmark?
     
  4. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Let me tell you the true story of LCA and how it became what it is today.
    Way back in 1983, IAF wanted a replacement for Mig-21s. HAL till than was under IAF control. So IAF set up a team of officers to decide what shud be the configuration of LCA? Shud it be conventional Delta-tailed or based on M2K with which IAF was highly impressed. After tons of samosas down their belly and thousands of litres of tea, these guys seated in an air conditioned office in Rajasthan decided that tailless delta is best planform for LCA. They played it safe based on the latest acqusition of IAF-M2K.
    Kota Hariharan was experimenting with LERX plates to enhance the lift of Mig-21 and he met lot of success in that in Nashik. HAL itself was in favor of a conventional design. BUT
    IAF idiots forced them to go for Tailless delta design which has been proven inferior in every nation including France.
    French have not designed any new aircraft since Mirage-3. They have used the same wing, same fuselage and same reynolds number to make new aircraft. let me explain.
    Mirage-3 had 60* sweep back, they reduced it to 58* to increase wing span and add reynolds number to tips of M2K. And they repeated it in Rafale by further reducing sweep angle and increasing span to maintain same reynolds number. Even the size of and shape of fuselage has not changed between any of the Mirage series. This is called incremental development and results in low cost solutions with very fast prototype development. 15.5m long fuselage of M3 was reduced to 14.37 for M2K and Etandards. That increased their tolerance to higher G-loads and gave more life to the airframe. Even Rafale fuselage is just 14.36m long. The so called length of 15.3m is due to over hang of rudders. French have not put any more money in redesigning a new aircraft.They are just expoliting last 60 yrs of their research. The reduction in size of fuselage and increase in potential is directly related to the length of the engine which French employed to power these aircraft.
    Now HAL was stuck with what IAF had decided and in 84, HAL slipped out of hands of IAF and a new agency was created called ADA. This new agency instead of challenging what IAF had stated, decided to do what IAF asked for. IAF conceived the baby and abondoned it in the womb. LCA is a no ones child. Its now a Bastard with no known parents.
    If only Kota had been allowed to do what he was doing and HAL allowed to develop HF-73, we wud have had a glorious aviation industry. French realised the shortcomings of Mirage series and tried to remove them thru M2K as pure delta - tailess design was lacking in most parts and performance. They developed a conventional version of Mirage-3 called Mirage F-1 which out sold every other Mirage design and was bought in largest numbers by FrenchAF also as the mainstay of their interceptor fleet. That aircraft beat all Mirage tailless delta series hollow by miles in performance even with a less powered engine than M2K, shorter wingspan and area. UASF has now hired an agency to provide intruder training to a company which has bought these retired F-1s from French AF. That is how potent that aircraft was and is.
    Now, the design created by HAL for HF-73 was superior to F-1 design as it was twin engine design. But what happened in 1974 is now happening in 2017, we are killing LCA for want of a third rate product called F-16.
    LSA/MSA goes a step forward and does things better than what French have done till date.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
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  5. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    You have a dedicated thread for that. :tsk:
     
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  6. Flyboy!

    Flyboy! Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Chai samosa sutta syndrome affects all employees of PSUs from top management to blue collared technicians. And it's more exaggerated because they often hire lifeless, first bench, bookish nerds rather than top talent.
     
  7. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    There is legitimate concern that the choice of a new single-engine fighter type could jeopardize India’s own Tejas project. This should not be an issue since the single-engine type being sought is to replace the MiG-23-MF/-BN and MiG-27ML aircraft in service, while the Tejas has been earmarked to replace the MiG-21. Nonetheless, at a time when budgetary allocations have not been generous, there is legitimate concern that allocations for a new single-engine aircraft could have a deleterious impact on the Tejas project. However, it is submitted that of greater concern for the Tejas is the fact that the project is plagued by delays in production as well as in completion of final operational clearance (FOC) trials. This may not be any single agency’s “fault”, but rather an adverse consequence of shifting priorities and lack of focus.

    The Tejas – Delays and Lack of Focus
    On 1 July 2016, No. 45 Squadron inducted the first two Serial Production models of the Tejas Mk.1 Light Combat Aircraft. Nearly 18 months have elapsed since these first aircraft were inducted, and they have now been joined by three more. A sixth is scheduled to join shortly and a total of eleven aircraft are supposedly to be on strength by March 2018.8 Built to IOC (Initial Operational Clearance) standards, these aircraft are the first of the twenty destined for No. 45 squadron, while an additional 20 will be built to FOC standard.9 Steady but somewhat slow progress is being made towards achieving FOC. On 12 May 2017, the Tejas Mk.1 crossed a major milestone when aircraft LSP-4 successfully fired a fully-guided Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile. While gun trials were scheduled to commence in August 2017, they have now been delayed to early 2018 owing to a shift in priorities by the IAF.10

    Yet, despite assurances from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), slow progress has been made in establishing adequate production facilities.11 HAL has not yet been able to meet the target of eight aircraft per year, much less an enhanced production target of 16 aircraft per year. Despite establishing a second production line using the BAE Hawk production facility – which has completed the manufacture and delivery of the last BAE Hawks to the IAF - there has been a very slow rate of progress in increasing the production rate of the Tejas.12 Now, despite earlier promises of delivery in early 2017 of the sixth aircraft to the IAF, it is hoped that this aircraft may fly by 5 November, with the seventh following a week thereafter. These delays on the part of HAL have adversely impacted the establishment of No.45 squadron as a viable operational entity as it continues to operate with only five aircraft.

    Even in its limited capability IOC configuration, the Tejas Mk.1 offers No. 45 Squadron considerable capability. Air defence and self-defence combat is catered for by the R-73 missile and the aircraft is cleared for the delivery of guided and unguided air-to-ground ordnance. An armament detachment, i.e., weapons firing, was successfully conducted by No. 45 squadron between September and October 2017, apparently with good results, which augurs well for the acceptance of the Tejas as a front-line aircraft.13

    However, the full capability of the basic Tejas Mk.1 would not be realized until the FOC version is delivered. In this regard, while BVR tests have been successful, flutter testing aimed at exploring the BVR envelope is still ongoing. The aircraft has an internal twin-barrel Gsh-23 gun. It was expected that gun trials would have been completed by now. But, apparently, at the IAF’s request, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has been asked to prioritize the closing of outstanding air-to ground ordnance delivery issues and mid-wing pylon drop-tank clearance along with in-flight refuelling. The priority given to the latter is somewhat surprising. These shifting priorities have upset timelines for the FOC and the induction of a second squadron of the type – with the upgrade of the first to be followed thereafter. Whether the IOC aircraft have BVR capability is debatable. However, they have the requisite radar, even if with a suboptimal radome, and the Derby BVR missile has been shown to be compatible.

    On 8 November 2016, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the production of 83 Tejas Mk.1A aircraft at an estimated cost of USD 7.5 billion.14 The Tejas Mk.1A – for which a prototype previously designated Tejas Mk.1P was proposed by HAL – is designed to correct many of the existing shortcomings in the FOC aircraft.15 To this end, the Tejas Mk.1A is intended to be equipped with an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and electronic warfare systems currently missing from the FOC Tejas Mk.1.16

    However, DAC clearance is not the same as a contract – hardly surprising since the avionics fit still awaits a decision from HAL despite a tender being floated for AESA radars and jamming pods.17 On 5 October 2017, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa spoke of shortly “issuing the “RfP for 83 more LCAs”, indicating a disconnect or at the very least poor communication between HAL and IAF.18


    Despite HAL being the lead agency for the Tejas Mk.1A, it has not accorded the project sufficient priority despite it offering HAL the opportunity to be part of the design and development of an indigenous aircraft. The proposed Tejas Mk.2, with a new GE414 engine, is a promising development of the type. But, to date, work has been minimal. To be fair, it has been suggested that the reason for the failure to select the radar/ electronic warfare package for the Mk.1A may be due to the preferred supplier escalating costs to an unacceptable level.19

    The Tejas, especially its Mk.1A variant, offers an opportunity for the IAF to close its squadron strength shortfall. Unlike the proposed single and twin-engine procurement projects, this is an endeavour that, despite delays, has borne some fruit and is at the cusp of making a viable, relatively low-cost, replacement for the MiG-21 available to the Indian Air Force. If HAL were to treat the Mk.1A as a priority and the IAF and ADA take the necessary steps to complete the FOC of the basic Mk.1 without further delays and shifting priorities, then there is a possibility of two Tejas Mk.1 and four Tejas Mk.1A squadrons being in service by 2025 – filling the gap left by the retirement of the six MiG-21Bison squadrons. If the Mk.2 is sanctioned and developed with alacrity, then the prospect for additional Tejas squadrons is in the offing – replacing aircraft such as the upgraded MiG-29 and even the upgraded Mirage 2000 by 2032.

    The IAF’s options
    Any procurement invariably meets the problem of the none-too-generous capital budget allocated to the IAF. It has been established that the IAF needs to induct no fewer than 12 combat squadrons to meet its targeted strength by 2027.

    As a first step, it is suggested that full support for the Tejas Mk.1A project has to be forthcoming on the part of all stakeholders – Government, ADA, HAL and IAF. This would deliver four squadrons to the IAF by 2025, with the prospect of additional aircraft if the Tejas Mk.2 is funded and developed through the necessary redesign of the airframe. A lack of focus and priority has been the bane of the Tejas project in recent years rather than technical shortcomings in the aircraft or technological hurdles. HAL’s somewhat lackadaisical approach to the production of Tejas Mk.1 has to end.

    https://idsa.in/issuebrief/the-indian-air-force-declining-squadron-strength_sbmaharaj_031117
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  8. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    I said it even before that :D

    upload_2017-11-3_21-13-52.png





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  9. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Parikkar strongly supported MK1A and he was fired. AESA vendor has jacked up the price.

    At this time the only thing that would save MK1A getting killed would a Kaveri 2.0 and UTTAM AESA Radar.
     
  10. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    There is much more in store for LCAMK1A and it willrival the performance of Gripen NG with French support. No one such exceptional experince of designing and operating tailless delta aircraft as French.
     
  11. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Competency alone is not enough. Mk1A needs political support to survive.

    Mk1A would only survive if the project is fully transferred from HAL to a private party like Reliance as the lead integrator.
     
  12. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    It's an idea, I'll send it to Dassault :cheers:
     
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  13. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    You just ranted that the LCA design is flawed and that the French have no design knowledge, because they somehow keep using the same design on and on. But now you hail them for supposedly helping LCA. :lol:

    LCA is nowhere near the performance of Gripen NG / E, it doesn't even keep up with Gripen C/D.
    The MK1A upgrade only fixes a few issues and modernise radar or EW parts, but doesn't make airframe or engine changes.
    It still has more than 1t overweight and still needs a higher thrust engine to reach it's own development goals, let alone to rival other fighters.
     
  14. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Pleaseshowme where I stated that French donot know about aircraft design.read that post again bro. I stated that they used incremental approach to keep the costs low and evolved one design into another to finally reach Rafale stage. I advocated same thing about India also.
    Can anyone on Planet deny that French are masters in tailless delta designs?Mk1A also fixes some of the aerodynamic problems with respect to stability margins.
     
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  15. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    As I said, by claiming they used the same design on an on. That whole post made no sense anyway.

    And no MK1A doesn't make aerodynamic fixes, but maintenance fixes. So your claims about improved performance remain baseless, just as you keep ignoring the overweight, the lack of payload or hardpoints, speed...
    Adding an AESA doesn't make LCA faster, carrying more weapons, or add space for EW and avionics. It just improves the radar performance, since it's newer technology, but it still falls short in performance to fighters with larger nose diameters / radar sizes.


    Tejas = light class fighter
    Gripen E / F16 = medium class fighter

    Having 1 engine doesn't make them similar in performance!
     

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